Kathmandu [Nepal], November 17 (ANI): Nepal rolled out its plan to replace the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) with a new generation electronic passport by handing over the first copy of it to the 102-year-old historian, conferred with the title "Yug Purush", Dr Satya Mohan Joshi.
Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka during a ceremony in Kathmandu handed over the first-ever copy of the new electronic passport to Dr Joshi as it plans to displace the earlier ones.
Addressing the ceremony, Foreign Minister Khadka claimed that the newly issued passport has improved security features.
"This passport contains all the necessary security features along with the personal details. All the details which we earlier had to lodge at the time of issuing earlier kind of passports whether it to be handwritten or Machine-readable (MRP), those data would now be incorporated in the polycarbonate paper which makes it of International standard and quality as well as one of the safe passport," said Khadka.
After cancelling three global tenders in a row by the earlier government, the lately formed administration under Sher Bahadur Deuba has handed over the contract to print the new ones to French firm IDEMIA.
The replacement of earlier 2010 issued Machine Readable Passports comes as per the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Government officials claim it to have more security and safety measures than earlier issued ones.
"It has a polycarbonate page where an electronic chip is installed that cannot be sensed or seen with eyes and it also has an antenna on it. That chip contains all the biometrics of a person- photos, thumbprints, and other details which can be verified across the globe following the ICAO mechanism. We call it PKD (Public Key Directory) of ICAO and Nepal is the 80th member of the organization and as the information contained on it could be verified anywhere that's why it is called electronic passport," Dornath Aryal, Director General at Department of Passport said addressing the event.
With the plan to replace the earlier passports, the Department also has changed shades turning to chocolate-brown which till now has been on green for the general public.
Along with it, the Diplomatic passports will have a crimson-red cover, official passports navy-blue, and peacekeepers' passports will come in tiger-orange colour.
Travel documents will be black, temporary passports chocolate-brown and seaman's record book slate-brown. The front page of all passport booklets is specified to bear a hot foil stamp of the national coat of arms. (ANI)